“Dog is man’s best friend,” there’s no doubt about that. The two have always been close companions, a relationship that dates back to about 32,000 years ago. Their close-knit association, however, hasn’t been all bliss and glamor, something you could have probably felt first-hand right now!
Just bitten by a dog and can’t quite decide which course of action to take?
According to the Center for Disease Control, over 4.7 million cases of dog bites are reported every year across the US alone. To put this into perspective, 1 out of every 69 people suffer the ugly side of the man-dog relationship. And out of them, over 800,000 usually end up as life-threatening, unless urgent medical assistance is sought.
Suffering a dog bite related injury can be the genesis of lots of pain and trauma, especially if the canine had not been given a shot of rabies. Beyond seeking urgent medical attention and waiting until the injury heals, there’s the long, arduous and somewhat complex journey of initiating legal action as well.
This is what to do after a dog bite
1. First and very important – seek medical help
It would be judicious to identify who the real owner of the damn dog is, the neighborhood and so forth. But owing to the seriousness of the injury, you shouldn’t really dwell on who the marauding dog’s owner is as before getting treated.
In fact, provided you have their names and addresses, then there’s nothing to worry about. Go right ahead and call 911 for speedy medical attention or let someone drive you to hospital. Remember, an infection from a dog bite can worsen if not treated quickly. And besides, you will have lots of time to handle everything else later. (See also: Key Tips on How to Recover Mentally from a Dog Bite)
2. Identify the dog owner
With the injury well taken care of, the next step should be to pursue the dog and its negligent owner. Confirm their names and addresses, the pooch’s details as well as whether the animal had the rabies vaccine. Remember, if it had not received a rabies vaccine, you will have to get it yourself; an expensive prospect!
3. Document the incident, file it and report
Whether the injury was inadvertently or not, or it was a minor, you must file a medical report. This is something you will do, assisted by the authorities who will investigate it as well.
Essentially, your report will help the next victim of the dog’s bite and the authorities. So, make sure to report the incident at a local animal control agency, even when you agree to resolve it amicably.
4. Get a personal injury Lawyer who you will explore the possible legal options together
You should, however, hire someone who is experienced and knows all the ins and outs of dog bite cases, claims, and settlements. The lawyer should also be someone who knows the amount of compensation you are entitled and how to arrive at it. Basically, get armed for the battle for compensation can be brutal, lengthy and demanding.
5. Have a list of witnesses and evidence
By now, you should be readying yourself to file a lawsuit, with the assistance of a dog bite attorney. And that means you must avail a list of possible witnesses and evidence to support your quest for justice and insurance claim. Your attorney will handle all the legal aspects of it and even advice you on the next course of action.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.